Apprenticeship Agreements: To a Money-Changer, 1248
The function of a money-changer was the highly specialized business of calculating
the values of the diverse currencies which came into his hands. The changers were
organized in gilds for membership in which apprenticeship was a necessary preliminary. The
bankers gradually usurped the position of the money-changers.
May twelfth, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord, 1248.
I, John of St. Maximin, lawyer, place with you John Cordier, money-changer, my son
William Deodat, as an apprentice, so that you may teach and instruct him in the art of
money-changing, for two complete and continuous years from this date. I promise by this
agreement that I will take care that my son will serve his apprenticeship with you and
that he will be faithful and honest in all his dealings for the whole of the said period,
and that he will not depart from you nor take anything away from you. And if it should
happen, which God forbid, that the said William should cause you any loss I promise to
reimburse you by this agreement, believing in your unsupported word, etc. Also I promise
to give by this agreement for the expenses of the said William food, that is bread and
wine and meat, fourteen heminae of good grain and fifty solidi of the money now current in
Marseilles, at your request, and to provide the said William with clothing and
necessaries, pledging all my goods, etc.; renouncing the benefit of all laws, etc.
To this I, the said John Cordier, receive the said William as a pupil and promise you,
the said John St. Maximin, to teach your son well and faithfully the business of
money-changing, etc., pledging all my goods, etc.; renouncing the benefit of all laws,
From: L. Blancard, ed., Documents Inédits sur le Commerce de Marseille au Moyen Age,
(Marseilles: Barlatier-Feissat, Pere et Fils, 1884), Vol. II, p. 155; reprinted in Roy C.
Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, eds., A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee:
The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998